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The Failure Drumbeat

November 17, 2013

SearchIt’s a common thing we hear daily on the news, in movies, or in books, America’s school system is failing. It’s usually said either with a lot of cynicism or it precedes a slickly proposed solution to get past the failure.  It’s a very common refrain that even gets automatically suggested to us. When you start a Google search with “the school system is” you immediately get suggestions of broken, failing, etc. It’s a view that frankly doesn’t serve us well.

To be clear, we shouldn’t be blind to facts and everyone needs to evaluate schools and their models carefully and expect nothing but the best for their children. However, a constant narrative of failure popularizes the idea that public education is hopeless.  On the broad level it makes it easy for voters to not be as concerned with budget cuts to education. Can you think of one congressman who has been voted out for cutting education funding? On a community level it makes a school’s closing inevitable. This mentality can put charter schools and private school at an unfair advantage when communities consider the options for their children.

Affordable, accessible education isn’t hopeless.

1,763 Books Packed for Special Education!

September 21, 2013

Today we held the 4th Annual Court’s Kids Big Sort where we sorted and packed up 1,783 books for early intervention an special education programs across the country! It was a great day.

1,763 Books for Special Education

1,763 Books for Special Education

We had great helpers, old friends, new friends, a new teacher friend and even some sunshine! We’re heading into fall and here in Oregon that means pretty grim weather forecasts. All week it was looking like we were going have a chilly, soggy book sort.


But, this morning was different…the fog burned off pretty early and we got some beautiful sunshine. It’s funny, we have been doing one or two book sorting events each year for the last four years and, no matter what the forecast says, we always get a little sunshine. I like to think it’s Courtney pulling some strings up there to make the day that much brighter.

Book sorts are always so fun, we get some wonderful donations in from our friends at River City Books and Schoolhouse Supplies, and you never know what kinds of treasures you’ll find. Everyone has their own experiences with books and reading and going through these boxes can be a bit of a trip down memory lane as you come across books you loved as a child, books that made you laugh, remind you of times past. We found some great stuff today, a whole set of Goosebumps books,  a bunch of the ever so funny Captain Underpants series (including the one about the “Wicked Wedgie Woman” I never knew of such a person), Marcia held onto her title for always being the first to find the books that make noises, and we even found one called “Kiki’s Delivery Service”!

We were scheduled to sort up until 2:00 but ended up finishing at 12:45, this group really meant business! We broke down the tables, cleaned up  and loaded up our new teacher friend’s car with books for her program and a colleague. I didn’t know we would be able to do that today since we don’t usually get many teachers at the sorts so it was so great to send her off with treasures for her school.

Kiki's Delivery Service

Kiki’s Delivery Service

So, here I sit, feet up, listening to my little guy play with his superheroes, feeling the cool autumn breeze through the window as the clouds come in…the sun keeps poking through now and then, a subtle reminder that she was here today.

Little by little,


Quote of the Week: Have confidence in your own strength

September 17, 2013
wonder woman girl power

You have the power ladies!

Quote of the Week: Remembering 9/11

September 11, 2013

“The attacks of September 11th were intended to break our spirit. Instead we have emerged stronger and more unified. We feel renewed devotion to the principles of political, economic, and religious freedom, the rule of law and respect for human life. We are more determined than ever to live our lives in freedom.” –Rudolph Giuliani, former mayor of NYC

International Literacy Day: September 9, 2013

September 8, 2013

Join Court’s Kids as we celebrate International Literacy Day with the International Reading Association, September 9th, 2013!

Check out their website for all sorts of fun resources including free activity books, printables and even a contest for teachers (win a free tablet!). Their theme this year is “Invent Your Future” inspiring kids to dream big!

International Literacy Day  #ILD13

International Literacy Day #ILD13

Superheroes at the Symphony!

August 27, 2013

We work with real world heroes and we’ve partnered with the Oregon Symphony to celebrate heroes through music with discount tickets and donations to our book deliveries across the country.

tickets to the oregon symphony

We’ve got our tickets, hope to see you there!

About the Show

The Oregon Symphony provides youth concerts aimed at students from Kindergarten through 8th grade. Their Kids Concerts are suggested for families with children ages 5-10. Their next Kids Concert is “Superheroes at the Symphony” taking us through all the songs and scores kids and adults alike hum and sing to ourselves from our favorite super hero movies.

What are they doing?

They are providing 10% and no handling feeds to anyone that orders tickets and uses the promo code “courtskids.” The 10% taken off will be a donation to Court’s Kids, funding our book deliveries, now counting at over 40,000 books delivered.

What you do

1)     Mark Sunday, October 6, 2013 2:00PM in your calendar

2)     Go to or call the ticket office at 503-228-1353

3)     Use the code “courtskids”

4)     Bring new or gently used books to the concert

5)     Enjoy the show

OPTIONAL: Bring your favorite teacher

See you there!

Little by Little,


Quote of the Week

August 25, 2013
books, stephen king quote

Stephen King